Thursday, September 6, 2007

On, But Mostly Off

Those Cabins on Route 20, 2007, Oil on Panel, 8x10

Steven has asked me a few times, about whether I am on "on" or "off" as an artist when I am on a trip or out of the studio for a length of time. My answer is usually that I am somewhere in between on and off.

On this trip it was no different. As usual, my intentions were to be "on" and just have some fun with drawing and watercolors. I took a box of supplies along and for the entire week, it sat in the exact spot where it was placed on the night we arrived. None of us did anything creative, I am afraid. I actually looked at the box often, longing to pull out the supplies, but I just couldn't do it. I guess I really needed the break, which is puzzling because I haven't been working terribly hard this last summer. Maybe it was a break in advance; now that I am back home and have gone over my schedule, I see that I will have to work at least full time until I leave for the artist residency in February.

But still, I wasn't "off" entirely. I took a lot of reference photos. New Hampshire has some wonderful barns, and I have already incorporated some of those images into the paintings I started yesterday. I also have references for new landscapes, water imagery, including lily pads, which intrigue me, and a few new houses as well.

Most importantly though, I spent more time than usual just sitting around observing my surroundings and while I probably won't remember the details of what I saw, the feeling from all of that will show up in my work at some point.

4 comments:

mary klein said...

Nice to see "sitting around" elevated to "observing" :)

Those cabins are wonderful. I love how white isn't white and how one of the cabins is merely hinted at.

Looking forward especially to your new water imagery and lilypad paintings.

Tracy said...

Hi Mary thanks for saving me from a post that's a complete bust:)

I love the real life cabins. They are so depressing, and yet so graphic at the same time. I never drive by without slowing down to look at them. And white is never just white in my little world!

Steven LaRose said...

I have a soft spot for the area around Freedom NH. Conway too, and Rye, on the tiny NH coast is beautiful. I spent a summer in an actual hay loft painting for a show in Chicago.. . that was years ago. It was really hard to get the work done. All I wanted to do was wander the woods and stumble across those cool old stone walls. Oh, and I always thought fireflys were a myth, like fairies (we don't have them in Seattle). Until on my first night in NH back in 1986 I thought that I had hit my head or maybe there was something terribly wrong with the first PBR I was drinking. I love NH.

I suppose it is healthy to turn it off every now and then. I guess I was asking because it seems like a vacation for you, who spends so much visual time in nature, might be a trip to a metropolitan city. Going to NH for vacation seems like it would be like going to Baskin and Robbins to lose weight. (hey, I got "lose" right the first time).

Paint on sis

Tracy said...

Oh, the fireflies! There weren't any when we were there, but early in the summer our area is thick with them. They bump up on our windows, it's like having a sparkly van Gogh evening.

I would like to vacation more often in a city, but it's kind of tough, too expensive and not very relaxing with the kids, unfortunately. The lake vacation was quite a change from our usual surroundings.

And did you work the phrase "lose weight" in just so you prove to me that you do know the difference between lose and loose?:)